Greek employers and workers' unions signed a three-year wage deal on Thursday foreseeing a pay freeze for 2010 and wage rises in line with euro zone inflation in the next two years, officials said.
Wage moderation to restore the country's competitiveness is a key condition in a 110 billion euro ($135 billion) bailout by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, agreed in May to pull Greece out of a debt crisis.
The agreement bettween the GSEE labour confederatin and the SEV industries association will cover all of Greece's 2 million private sector workers. The first pay increase, estimated at about 1.5 percent, will kick in in July 2011 and the second in July 2012.
"With this agreement we demonstrate that we can give pay increases in this difficult juncture, sending a message of hope," Vassilis Korkidis, chairman of trade association ESEE which participated in the negotiations, told Reuters.
Under the terms of the bailout, minimum wages in the private sector need to remain stable for at least three years to help boost exports and attract foreign direct investment.
"This year there will be no wages rises because it is a particularly difficult year. It is evident that securing jobs is more important than a wage hike," said GSEE spokesman Stathis Anestis.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 15 Temmuz 2010, 16:29